US National Arboretum


Handsome Hollies and Magnificent Magnolias–the Perfect Match

picture from the Holly Magnolia collectionThis dazzling collection is resplendent with the festive red-berried evergreen holly long associated with winter holidays and the fragrant magnolia native to the southern U.S.  You’ll find these evergreen beauties along with dozens of other hollies and magnolias combined in a magical collection that is striking in all seasons.  The collection is particularly beautiful in the spring and again in the fall and winter.

Both hollies and magnolias have broad-leaved evergreen species that make this collection an oasis of green through the dull days of winter.  In high summer, the broad creamy white saucers of the evergreen magnolias take center stage.  The deciduous species of holly and magnolia are equally important to this collection.  The shrubby deciduous hollies fruit heavily every year bringing joy to the winter landscape, and the furry buds of deciduous magnolias burst into bloom in the first balmy days of early spring.

Over the years, hollies and magnolias have figured prominently in the Arboretum’s work to develop new and improved landscape plants.  Many of the hollies and magnolias that are common in the nursery trade today originated with a dab of the right pollen on the pistil of the right flower right here at the U.S. National Arboretum.  The Holly Magnolia Collection has some of the best examples of some of the best plants we've ever introduced.  Here you can find 'Galaxy' magnolia, the Girl Series of magnolias, and 'Sparkleberry' holly.

The Holly Magnolia Collection is at its peak in several seasons, but the impact of thousands of blossoms of deciduous magnolias in shades of pink, white, and purple make it a must-see destination in early spring.  Evergreen magnolias bloom in high summer.  Many of the largest trees in the collection resulted from work to hybridize the southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, with the sweet bay magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, and are a rare and fragrant treat that cannot be seen at other gardens.  In the autumn, hundreds of hollies ripen their berries.  Winter snowfalls bring quiet and colorful majesty to the collection.  In short, any time is a good time to visit the Holly Magnolia Collection.

There are no handicapped accessible trails in the collection, but much of it is easily visible from roadways in the area.  Most visitors linger in the Holly Magnolia Collection for at least a half hour.  The Asian Collections are just a short walk away.

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Last Updated   December 2, 2005 3:16 PM
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